Upsetting news deJune 20, 2017veloped in recent days as John Cunningham, a 38-year-old Donegal man, who has been an outspoken Irish immigrant advocate, leading member of Boston’s GAA, civic and business community since 1999, is facing imminent deportation after being arrested by ICE agents. Apparently, he was apprehended with cause for overstaying a holiday visa waiver many years ago. Cunningham was interviewed for a documentary on Irish Undocumented, broadcast on RTE in March, in which he may have been identifiable. We are not sure if this contributed to his arrest, but these are cautious times. We feel Cunningham may have put himself at risk to raise awareness of the plight of Irish Undocumented and the need to rectify the need for visas. We are working in coordination with the Irish Embassy, its Consulate, the Irish Immigration Centers, Senator Bill Lawless and US Congress to assist the incarcerated Mr. Cunningham and calm the worried Irish immigrant community. I am grateful for the proactive measures that President McKay is employing on attaining rectification for these Irish folks here in America, long waiting for the right visa so that they may finally come out of the shadows.
On Tuesday, June 6, 2017, I had a very informative meeting which focused a need to talk Irish immigration issues with President Trump and his Administration’s Director of Homeland Security.
US Marine General John F. Kelly, US Director of Homeland Security, is a Boston Irish Catholic and we are focused on engaging with him regarding Immigration Reform for future flow and the Irish Undocumented. Never before has the need for us to employ our Order’s connectivity been more urgent to help these people. Brothers, if any of you have connections to General Kelly or his leading staff, please let either Judge McKay or myself know, asap.
The Chicago meeting was hosted by Senator Billy Lawless and attended by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Ambassador Anne Anderson, Massachusetts Irish Consul General Brien O’Brien, Michael Collins of Chicago Irish Immigration Center, Cyril Regan of Chicago Celts and members of the Clergy and Irish government staff. Thanks to Hibernian Charity Board Member, Irish Senator Billy Lawless, and the Chicago Celts I joined National VP Danny O’Connell in Chicago at events and immigration meetings surrounding a visit and thank you for Taoiseach Ends Kenny and Ambassador Anne Anderson. (Chicago Celts was founded by Billy Lawless and Cyril Regan and truly are
the only Irish Lobby Organization that has continually worked hand in hand with the AOH and Irish Immigration Centers on Lobbying.)
Chicago is a great city, Danny O’Connell and I met great local Hibernians and others who are now very interested in joining us.
Congrats to AOH NY County Division 7 for once again hosting the Celtic Cruise. This fun, annual Cruise around Manhattan on the Spirit Of New York benefits the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, raising over $50,00 of direct support for the EIIC annually. Thanks to Sean Pender, Tim McSweeney, and Tom Beirne, our National Board members who are attended the cruise. www.celticcharity.com to learn more about the event.
On May 4-5, 2017 the 2nd Global Irish Forum was held in Dublin Castle, Ireland, and 250 distinguished organizations committed to Irish Culture, Heritage, Arts and Emigrant support were represented. This was the AOH’s first invitation, and I proudly served as your representative. Our Order’s good works were introduced to the assembled at the beginning of the Forum by Irish Senator for the Diaspora Billy Lawless, Minister of the Diaspora Joe McHugh, and Forum’s Caitríona Ingoldsby the Director of the Irish Abroad Unit. DFA Secretary General Niall Burgess echoed those sentiments in the Forums’ final address, at the close of events
In directly communicating our efforts, I also learned about other groups missions and strategies. My home Division, Westchester County Division 18 Peekskill benefits from an Irish government grant to support cultural programs at our Hall and Fest. I encourage Hibernian Halls in NYS to consider participating in Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs Emigrant Support Program (ESP) by applying for Heritage Grants. To find out more on ESP Grants and the Global Irish Forum: Link to Global Irish Hub: https://www.dfa.ie/global-irish/
I worked under NYS Director Tom Beirne’s coordination of two very special Masses in NYC; the Month’s Mind Mass for Martin McGuinness at NY St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Re-Interment Mass for Knock Visionary John Curry, the youngest Knock Visionary at Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Both Masses received international attention. Brothers from far and wide supported these efforts with selflessness and expertise that only Hibernians in America can demonstrate!
Do you qualify for an Irish passport of citizenship or you are a US green card holder who wants US Citizenship? Please contact the Emerald Isle Immigration Center at (718)478-5502 or www.eiic.org
While working on fair reform for future flow and rectification of the tragic story of Irish people here in America long wait for visas, we’re grateful the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers www.cic-usa.org Irish Apostolate and Chicago Celts are our partners in this effort, please support your local Irish Immigration Center.
I attended the 2017 NJ State Convention as well as many Divisions & Counties and remain grateful for your hospitality at each event. Looking forward to the NYS Convention in Buffalo and the 9th Hudson Valley Irish Fest on September 30 in Peekskill!
Please Read and Subscribe to the DFA Global Irish Hub to learn about the Global Irish Forum and 2017 Emigrant Support Program. The Irish Heritage Grants are a great way to increase Cultural and educational events at your Hibernian Halls and Festivals https://www.dfa.ie/global-irish/
Please learn as much as we can about General John F Kelly, Chairman of US Department of Homeland Security. He is the key to President Trump helping us with Irish Immigration, and he and Bannon were mandated with fixing Irish Immigration by President Trump according to Taoiseach Enda Kenny. We should arrange a meeting with the General as soon as possible to discuss immigration.